NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A New Jersey mother is making a plea for help after her daughter was struck and killed by a driver who never stopped.
Christina Oprea is devastated beyond words and desperate for justice. Her 21-year-old daughter, Roxana Buta, was killed early Thursday morning while heading home from her job as a waitress near Union Square.
“When he killed her, he killed me, too,” Oprea told CBS 2’s Kathryn Brown on Tuesday.
Police said the budding actress was crossing 14th Street at Broadway when a dump truck ran her over. The driver never stopped and still hasn’t been caught.
“What would I tell a guy who killed my only daughter and ran away? Well, I would probably tell him that I wish that he would never have to go through what I’m go through,” Oprea said.
Oprea called her daughter her “everything” and said she worried constantly about her working late nights. But the mother and daughter had a deal that gave her comfort.
“She said ‘Don’t worry Gigi. I’ll text you every night before bedtime I promise,'” Oprea said.
But last week, the text never came and, instead, a phone call came the following day.
“I thought it was her because the guy called me from her phone,” Oprea said. “I said ‘Of course I know her. She’s my daughter’ and he says ‘oh God that’s bad.'”
It is the moment Oprea’s life shattered. Police said they’re committed to finding the driver who killed her daughter. Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said authorities are now looking for more video as they investigate.
At the scene of the accident, a memorial grows every day. It is a reminder to those passing by — of the life lost there.
Police are still working to track down witnesses and are asking anyone with information or who may have seen something that night to come forward.